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Archive for February 2011

Hollywood hosts 83rd Academy Awards

February 27, 2011 - UNITED STATES

There’s a possibility that for the first time since the 73rd Oscars, minority cast members could be missing in all the major awards. The Oscar condenders include The King’s Speech, Black Swan, 127 Hours and The Social Network, which has been hailed as reflecting the national zeitgeist during the Age of Facebook.

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Persian Gulf country marks twin anniversaries

February 24, 2011 - KUWAIT

Coalition forces liberated Kuwait from Iraqi occupation forces on 26 Feb 1991 at the conclusion of an operation named Desert Storm. The coalition will be represented at the four days of events for the 20th anniversary. They are expected to include a Liberation Day Parade, air and maritime displays, and wreath laying ceremonies. Kuwait’s Independence Day falls on Feb 25, but in 2011, the 50th anniversary, the main events shift to Jun 19, the date Kuwait’s treaty with Britain was annulled.

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Cuba holds annual Habano Cigar Festival

February 21, 2011 - HAVANA

The 13th annual Habano Cigar Festival is the largest international meeting for lovers of the most famous tobacco in the world. The five-day celebration regularly attracts some 1500 producers, distributors and businessmen, as well as large numbers of interested amateurs and tourists. A venue for announcing new brands, the 2011 festival promises to unveil new cigars designed especially for women – such as the Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta brands. Despite American trade sanctions against Cuban products, cigars remain one of the country’s leading exports – regularly generating over US $50 million a year in revenue.

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Cuba holds annual Habano Cigar Festival

February 21, 2011 - HAVANA

The 13th annual Habano Cigar Festival is the largest international meeting for lovers of the most famous tobacco in the world. The five-day celebration regularly attracts some 1500 producers, distributors and businessmen, as well as large numbers of interested amateurs and tourists. A venue for announcing new brands, the 2011 festival promises to unveil new cigars designed especially for women – such as the Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta brands. Despite American trade sanctions against Cuban products, cigars remain one of the country’s leading exports – regularly generating over US $50 million a year in revenue.

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Landlocked central African country holds legislative election

February 20, 2011 - CHAD

The election for Chad’s 155-seat unicameral National Assembly, is unlikely to produce surprises. The huge lead of the ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) is not under threat, but the election could be eventful. The opposition coalition, CPDC, can be counted on to challenge the results, and political violence and rebel activity in the capital, Ndjamena, and elsewhere threaten the polling. The vote has been moved several times, and could be moved agin , first set for 2010, has been moved and moved could be moved again.

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France hosts finance ministers of G20 countries

February 18, 2011 - PARIS

France hosts the finance ministers and heads of the central banks of the G20 bloc of developed and major emerging economies. The ministers will follow up on the pledges made by the leaders at the close of the G20 summit of November in Seoul, particularly regarding exchange rates. They will also hear France’s priorities for the G20 as its 2011 president. These focus on global monetary system reforms, the enhancement of global governance and the stabilization of prices for raw materials.

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Presidential, legislative election scheduled

February 18, 2011 - UGANDA

President Yoweri Museveni, the candidate of the ruling National Resistance Movement, already Africa’s longest-serving leader, will try to extend his 25-year rule by five years on Feb 18. His main challenger is Kizza Besigye of the four-party opposition coalition, Inter-Party Cooperation. The opposition wants the Electoral Commission reformed to make it independent, and could boycott the vote over the issue. The election puts Uganda’s hard-won stability and economic gains on the line. Reuters quotes Jerry Lanier, the United States ambassador to Uganda, stating that failure to stage a credible, peaceful vote in the country of 22 million-plus people could trigger regional instability. The country’s last elections in 2006 were marred by violence.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-il turns 69

February 16, 2011 - NORTH KOREA

The 69th birthday national birthday party for North Korean leader Kim Jong-il will be watched for clues to his health, the succession and to the secretive communist state’s recent bellicosity. Analysts mainly link the four factors, but differ on Pyongyang’s aim. The day is marked with dance spectaculars and speeches praising Kim Jong-il, who rarely attends the festivities. The eulogies and statements could answer some of the questions. Kim senior appeared frail in the most recent sighting — presiding with his anointed heir, Kim Jong-un, at a military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party in October

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Ariane 5 blasts off on milestone 200th mission

February 15, 2011 - GUIANA

Ariane 5 blasts off on Feb 15 from the European spaceport of Kourou for the International Space Station. This 200th mission for the ArianeSpace heavy lift rocket will loft Europe’s 20-ton space freighter, ATV-Johannes Kepler, into a low-Earth orbit. The milestone outing for Ariane 5 will be a re-supply mission to the ISS. The European Space Agency envisions its ATV technology as a possible direction for crew transportation.

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NASA Stardust spacecraft flies by comet Tempel 1

February 14, 2011 - SPACE

NASA’s Stardust-NExT mission and the comet Tempel 1 have a date in Space on Valentine’s Day. It will be a close encounter rather than a touching rendezvous, and also the second meeting between the comet and a spacecraft: on 4 Jul 2005, Deep Impact successfully released an impactor into Tempel 1 while observing it during a flyby. Stardust-NExT, launched 4.5 years ago, expands the 2005 investigation. The data is expected to shed light on the formation of the Solar System.Stardust is already famous. Launched on 7 Feb 1999, it became the first spacecraft to collect samples from a comet (comet Wild 2) and return them to Earth for study. NASA is re-using the already-proven flight system with the Stardust-NExT (New Exploration of Tempel) mission.

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